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law.arizona.edu | Link                                                                                        May 29, 2013

Greetings!

 

As President of the Law College Association (LCA), I've been delighted to read the "Wildcat-Wednesday - Letter of the Law" weekly newsletter since it debuted on January 16th, 2012. It's been gratifying to learn about Arizona Law's talented students, engaged alumni, and outstanding faculty, and we've received an enthusiastic response from alumni about it.

 

This week we take a different tack to focus on Dean Marc Miller, who yesterday was named as permanent dean of the law school. (Click here for the full announcement.) Many of you have already met Marc, who joined the faculty in 2005 and became interim dean in November 2012.

 

Many more of you will have that chance during his ambitious "Meet the Dean" tour scheduled for the coming months. We're still finalizing a Tucson "meet," and invitations to Southern Arizona alumni will be sent when it's set. We will have a reception in Phoenix on June 21, during the Arizona State Bar convention, as well as other cities listed at the end of this note.

 

Meanwhile, I thought I'd share some information about Marc that you might not glean from cocktail party conversation.

 

-Brad Vynalek ('99)

 

 

My Conversation with Dean Marc Miller

He's a "deliberate Westerner."

Born in Illinois while his father was a rising third-year law student, Marc recalls the University of Chicago Law School as one of his earliest homes; he has the baby pictures to prove it. The family then decamped for a year to Berkeley, while his father clerked for Justice Roger Traynor of the California Supreme Court, and then to Los Angeles where his father, Howard Miller, is a lawyer (and was for many years a law professor), and where his mother, Shirley, built a travel agency and travel business.

 

Marc earned his undergrad degree in politics, philosophy & economics from Pomona College and, following in dad's footsteps, attended the University of Chicago Law School, where he was managing editor and book review editor for the University of Chicago Law Review

 

Marc says he never strayed far from his western upbringing, though. "I think westerners - and western schools - share an informality, collegiality, and a pioneering sense of opportunity - all of which inform the way we live, learn, and teach. It's one of the things that my wife and I valued most when we decided to come here in 2005."

 

Miller, Marc (outside) He believes in scholarship that matters.

The news release details Marc's traditional scholarship, a bit of which I've distilled here. Marc came to Arizona Law after seventeen years at Emory Law School, where he was Associate Dean for Faculty and Scholarship. As a faculty member here, he's credited for building a strong Program in Criminal Law and Policy (with colleague G. Jack Chin) and establishing close connections in environmental law with other UA programs, in tandem with members of the environmental law faculty.

 

His scholarship focuses on both criminal law and environmental law. Marc has edited two leading casebooks, one on criminal procedure and the other on the law of sentencing. He co-founded the Federal Sentencing Reporter, the leading journal on sentencing law and policy that, for the last twenty-five years, has focused on nurturing an ongoing conversation between scholars, judges, lawyers, probation officers, and policy-makers. 

 

He currently serves as a series editor for Summits, a collaborative effort between the law school, the UA Institute of the Environment, the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, Biosphere 2, and the Biosphere 2 Institute

 

Prior to his career in legal academia, Miller worked as a law clerk in Montgomery, Alabama for Chief Judge John C. Godbold of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, as an Attorney-Advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel, United States Department of Justice, and as Special Counsel to the Vera Institute of Justice in New York.

 

From outside the walls of a law school, it's not always easy to understand legal scholarship, but Marc describes the last decade as a "sea change" in the way we think about it. "These days, what law faculty do is often collaborative and cross-disciplinary. It's more likely to be built around issues in the profession, to inform the public policy debate, and to inspire teaching that's highly engaged, and more experiential...built around the facts and circumstances of real people and situations.

 

He values "the conversation."

Miller, Marc (children)
The Miller children

Precisely because scholarship is changing the face of legal education and practice, discussions about either of those things must invite broader participation. "I'm always happy when I get an email from an alum, suggesting a new course, volunteering to mentor a student, or suggesting improvements." He adds, "And the many emails and comments from our current students provide real guidance as well." All of this input is critical. "Law schools are re-inventing themselves. We'll need a lot of help in getting it right."

 

He's passionate about his Arizona family at work, and his family at home.

With three elementary school children, Marc and his wife, Professor Christina Cutshaw, aim for the sweet spot that ultimately eludes most families. (Mine included.) "Every day, being a parent provides new insights about legal education, from assessing the financial sacrifice it takes students and their families to be here, to the logistical challenges of parenting while in law school or early in one's professional career, to the deeper questions about what we owe our children and society. It's analogous to sustaining the reputation of a great law school. We have to manage the daily demands and details, and at the same time create a vision where future generations of Arizona Law students and alumni can prosper."

 

At Miller family gatherings, fun and law are in abundance, as Marc's younger brother Alex is a lawyer with Visa in San Francisco, and his youngest brother Craig is a high school vice principal at the Life Learning Academy Charter School. (But to make sure he is properly represented, Craig is married to a lawyer who works for the San Francisco District Attorney's Office.)

 

If you'd like to start - or continue - a conversation, engage with the law school, or just register a comment, you can email Marc. Meanwhile, please plan to attend one of the upcoming "Meet the Dean" receptions below, or contact Jonelle Vold to arrange a meeting with Arizona Law's new dean.

 

Footnotes

Online Recurring Giving: Green, Great, Grateful

Are you wondering how you can make a difference? A gift to the Arizona Law Fund allows us to support student scholarships, provide critical funding for key priorities, and develop important student enrichment events.

 

Our new online option to make monthly gifts using a credit card is an easier, greener way to support Arizona Law: www.law.arizona.edu/give.

 

Every gift matters. Recurring giving is a way to show your steady support for the College of Law as we continue to guide one of the world's great public law schools through changing and challenging times.

 

Attorney Mentoring Program - Tucson

Tucson area alums - Connect with the Arizona Law community by volunteering for the 1L Attorney Mentor Program. Mentors provide first year students with a connection to the local legal community. Depending on a student's needs and interests, a mentor might provide advice on navigating the demands of law school, share insight into the practice of law, invite the student to a community or legal event, or engage in a common interest such as sports or music. 

 

For more information on how to serve as a mentor, click here: www.law.arizona.edu/career/attorneymentorprogram.pdf 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

13th Annual Himelic Memorial Dinner and Golf Classic, May 31 - June 1

This Tucson event raises funds for ALS Research at the UA College of Medicine. Since it began in 2001, the dinner and golf classic has raised more than $832,000 to benefit ALS research at the University. Golf enthusiasts can experience the Westin La Paloma Resort's private Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, while non-golfers can enjoy dinner, auctions, and dancing to live music.

 

The weekend was established to honor Jim Himelic ('73), a former Pima County Juvenile Court judge who lost his battle with ALS in 2000. Now, his daughter, Ana ('05), continues to help raise funds in search of a cure for the disease. For more information on the event, including how to register, click here.

 

Battle of the Bands - June 20

The State Bar of Arizona is again sponsoring a Battle of the Bands at this year's annual convention. Hosted at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, this year's battle will take place on Thursday, June 20 from 5pm - 7:30pm. It will feature The Gotes (with Prof. Susie Salmon) and Guilty as Sin trying to unseat the 2011 champions, Los Big Grandes - featuring Judge Philip Espinosa ('83). For more information, click here.

Upcoming Dates to "Meet the Dean"
  • Phoenix - June 21
    • A wine and cheese reception will be hosted by Fennemore Craig, on Friday, June 21 from 4-6pm.
  • Tucson - Date TBA
  • Seattle and Portland - June 24-27
  • Washington, DC - July 8
  • San Francisco - July 18
  • New York City - August 6
  • Las Vegas - August 8-9

 

 

Warmest regards,

 

 

Vynalek, Brad Vynalek, Brad (signature)   

 

Brad Vynalek
President, Law College Association

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